The social evils and superstitions that had crept in the society over the centuries made social reforms imperative for the development of the society and the masses. In the 19th century, the newly educated persons increasingly revolted against rigid social conventions and outdated customs. They could no longer tolerate irrational and de-humanising social practices. Moreover, the backward features of Indian society, such as the caste system or inequality of the sexes had religious sanctions in the past. Therefore, it was necessary to reform religious practices as well.
The condition of women was pathetic. The various religions practised in India as well as the personal laws based on them consigned women to a status inferior to that of men. Polygamy, Purdah system, sort, ban on widow remarriage, no education for female child, female infanticide, child marriages were some of the evils that had vice—like grip over the society. It thus became necessary to take the women out of this degraded position and help her to realise her true potential. The problems of female feoticide, sexual harassment at workplace, education are so diverse that they need sound financial backing, all these social evils centre around the petty and marginalized conditions of women in the society. We need to combat evils like the glorification of sati places as pilgrimages, dowry system, girl feoticide, decline in sex ratio, harassment of women etc. This can be achieved by educating the woman and making her financially independent.
Rajasthan has been in the news recently and for all the wrong reasons. First, it was tigers disappearing, then it was a guidebook that referred to sati-sites as tourist destinations, and then it was child marriages.
The legal age for marriage in India is 18 years for women and 21 years for men. Any marriage of a person younger than this is banned in India under the Child Marriage Prevention Act of 1929. But child marriages still take place in India; particularly.